[Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me,]

by Trevor Ketner

Trevor Ketner is the author of 2020 National Poetry Series winner [WHITE] (University of Georgia Press, 2021). They have been published in The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, New England Review, Ninth Letter, Brooklyn Rail, West Branch, Pleiades, Diagram, Foglifter, and elsewhere. Their essays and reviews can be found in The Kenyon Review, Boston Review, and Lambda Literary. They have been awarded fellowships from Poets House, Lambda Literary, The Poetry Project, and Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. They hold an MFA from the University of Minnesota, and live in Manhattan with their husband.

divine hyphenate stag—i eye silty omen—
twink / twigthin homo shard—easy, tender mint
leaves—a cuntpink, lamb horn (bound)—grove /
tiny, plum pit—working a hurt, honey pot—
transmoon hunghunt—ovary tide—fennel,
/ beets (hot heft)—she goes back—cemetery tree,
its feverlather—that horsethin ulna stunt
(try hot shethrob)—saw tall god of teeth
eye me in gay bar—the touch of wet moss—see notch
meat heat relentlessly—hew / tie both—
ring fern to echo geometric starhum / nude moon—
tie ivy—ply key—pear’s thin, taut rind /
sweet rib—full waterlily shine—bask (ache
to cake)—count pill total—halfhymn ladyhex.


Artist’s Statement

These poems, what Ketner calls “divinations,” were created using an online anagramming tool and the source text of Shakespeare’s sonnets. The first line of the corresponding Shakespearean sonnet is borrowed as the title for each divination. The rule the poet set for themself was that they had to anagram line-by-line, so each line of the divination has the same letters in a one-to-one relationship as the corresponding line in the Shakespearean sonnet.



Trevor Ketner is the author of 2020 National Poetry Series winner [WHITE] (University of Georgia Press, 2021). They have been published in The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, New England Review, Ninth Letter, Brooklyn Rail, West Branch, Pleiades, Diagram, Foglifter, and elsewhere. Their essays and reviews can be found in The Kenyon Review, Boston Review, and Lambda Literary. They have been awarded fellowships from Poets House, Lambda Literary, The Poetry Project, and Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. They hold an MFA from the University of Minnesota, and live in Manhattan with their husband.

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